A study from ISC², a nonprofit association of cybersecurity professionals, revealed that the admiration towards the cybersecurity profession is increasing among the aspiring security professionals, although 29% of professionals said they are considering a career change from the field.
The study “2020 Cybersecurity Perception” stated that 71% of the non-security professionals admitted that they consider cybersecurity professionals to be smart and technically skilled, with 51% describing it as a field with “the good guys fighting cybercrime” and 69% stated the cybersecurity profession is a good career path. 77% of respondents said cybersecurity was never a part of their formal educational curriculum.
ISC² stated the industry made over 2.8 million skilled cybersecurity professionals. According to the survey findings, based on the responses from 2,500 security professionals working across the U.S. and the U.K., there is a global shortage of 4.07 million cybersecurity professionals.
Other Findings include:
- In the absence of formal cybersecurity education, perceptions about the industry and the professionals in it are formed primarily through portrayals in TV shows and movies (37% of respondents) or by news coverage of security incidents (31%).
- 61% of respondents said they believe they would either need to go back to school (26%), earn a certification (22%) or teach themselves new skills (13%) to pursue a career in cybersecurity. 32% of respondents said they believe too much technical knowledge or training would be required.
- Generation Z (Zoomers) were the least likely demographic group to cast cybersecurity professionals in a positive light. Just 58% view cybersecurity professionals as smart and technically skilled, as opposed to 78% of Baby Boomers. And only 34% of Zoomers consider them the good guys fighting cybercrime, as opposed to 60% of Boomers.
- The job stability is now the most valued characteristic in a career (61% of respondents), followed by ones that offer a “flexible work environment” (57%) and only then, earning potential (56%).
Wesley Simpson, COO of ISC², said, “The cybersecurity profession is still misunderstood by many, and that’s counterproductive to encouraging more people to pursue this rewarding career. The reality of the situation, and what we need to do a better job of publicizing, is that a truly effective cybersecurity workforce requires a broad range of professionals who bring different skill sets to their teams. While technical skills are vital for many roles, we also need individuals with varied backgrounds in areas including communications, risk management, legal, regulatory compliance, process development and more, to bring a well-rounded perspective to cyber defense.”